Author Topic: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell  (Read 11335 times)

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Jan74

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I ran into this yesterday trying to look at white sapphires for an engagement ring. I went into two stores where the clerks were more than happy to show me their white sapphires, until they deduced that I wanted this stone for an e-ring. As soon as they gleaned this bit of information, they became very pitying and patronizing. "Oh, honey, no. Wouldn't you rather have a diamond? Just a small diamond dearie, that won't cost too much. Or if he can't afford that, they have done amazing things with moissanite, you can't even tell it isn't a diamond."

<snip> In this case it's probably because the one time in people's lives that they've been completely conned into spending more money than they can reasonably afford on a piece of jewellry is the engagement ring. They try to push eternity rings, they try to push maternity rings, but by far the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing. </snip>


I think "they" have managed to catch my boyfriend in their net too. I told him from the instant he started talking about rings that I didn't necessarily want a diamond, and if we did go that route, I only wanted a small diamond because I have small hands. He has persisted in taking me to look at diamond encrusted settings with large diamond solitaires. Even now that we're looking at white sapphires he has an eye towards replacing the stone with a diamond for an anniversary.

Well, bully for "them," because I have absolutely fallen in love with an antique style ring channel set with diamonds but with a blue topaz main stone, and I don't want to replace that unique colorful topaz with a run-of-the-mill clear diamond later! (Which is not, please know, any sort of disparagement at all against diamond e-rings, I just really LOVED that ring with topaz and it feels like me.)

I love topaz. So your ring sounds fantastic.

gmatoy

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My ring is an aquamarine, which is a color that I love! Diamonds go flat when placed on my hands. Really, when I was young, the bride-to-be didn't believe me when I said diamonds went "flat" on my hands. So she put her ring on my finger and almost dislocated my finger trying to get it back off when the "shine and sparkle" disappeared. Some kind of weird chemical reaction, I guess.

Doll Fiend

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Amethyst here! I had to leave a couple of places as well cause of the whole "Push the expensive diamond" bit. Ironically, found the perfect (for me) ring at one of the big box stores.

flowersintheattic

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I wonder if part of the rudeness we see/read about on e-Hell from the sales people in bridal boutiques with regard to budget is because bridal boutiques get so many girls coming in with no intention of buying, they just want to try on the pretty dresses. I bet designer stores have to contend with a lot of that, and it could cause a lot of unwillingness to help people that they assume won't be spending any money.

It's not an excuse for their behavior in any way, but it might be the cause of it.

I don't know about jewelers, though. If a couple doesn't want a diamond, they don't want a diamond. If you belittle their choice, you're not going to get ANY commission from them. I remember when FH and I were looking at rings, I mentioned to one national chain that I wanted an Asscher cut, and the saleslady said they didn't carry them and showed me a stone with the same shape but a radiant cut instead of a step cut. When I told her that the step cut was what I liked, she told me I didn't really want one because they get dirty so easily, and I clearly wanted something that would sparkle no matter what. In fact, she had a woman in the store just last week getting her Asscher-cut ring cleaned, and she hated it because it got dirty from the lotion she put on. That store didn't get our business. (FWIW,  I love the cut of my ring. Three and a half months later, it's still as sparkly as it was in when he gave it to me...I take it off when I put on lotion.  ;))
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Hushabye

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I think if it does come from that, flowersintheatic, it's a shame, and it's not practiced by all designer stores in the slightest.

When I was in college, I was in DC at one point staying at the Watergate for a conference.  One of the other girls from school and I went walking along a series of shops nearby which happened to include a Vera Wang store.  We weren't dressed super-nicely, and I think it was apparent we weren't looking seriously, but we were still treated extremely politely when I saw a dress I fell in absolute love with in the window and went inside to look at it more closely.  (Southern Honey and I weren't engaged at that point, although we did get engaged about a year and a half later.)

The treatment we received that day actually led me to strongly consider buying the dress once I was engaged -- if it hadn't been so darned far out of the budget, I probably would have because I managed to track one down at a local boutique.

Honestly I think it's lack of training, snobbery, and just plain poor salesmanship, or some combination of the three.

jenny_islander

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The only other venue I can think of where the customer is expected to eat such a ration of you-know-what is pregnant women dealing with birth providers.  (You don't want that/you don't know what you're talking about/you're too stupid to make decisions/we don't let people do that here/we expect you to believe whatever we say without checking the facts/give us your money.)  Perhaps there is something about being in (apparent) control of things that are very important to a woman during a very stressful time of her life as a deadline approaches--?  Or do men also get smacked with this nonsense when shopping for wedding clothes and rings?

During my brief stint in sales, I was trained to be polite to everybody regardless of appearance, because you can't tell the window shoppers from the people who are thinking about putting down a large amount of money until they either come back or don't.  So you want to make darn sure they feel like coming back!  The smelly guy in the stained Carhartts may have just come off the best fishing season of his life and you want him to drop some of his six-digit paycheck with you.

Twik

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If there's any business rationale behind it, could it be that they're trying to impress potential customers that "we're so high end, you barely qualify to get in the door - but we're feeling generous today, so we'll condescend to sell to you"? That they hope that the customers will be properly awed and grateful?
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irish1

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The thing about her needing to see the OP naked really freaked me out. I want to say I wouldn't have allowed it if it were me, but I probably wouldn't have said anything :( I'd suggest the OP talk to a senior staff member about this treatment.

Clair Seulement

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Sheesh I almost walked out of a bridal "shop" that will remain nameless because they wanted my fiance's full name and e-mail address to hawk bridal-industrial items to him. Thinly veiled allusions to perceived low SES and insisted-upon naked-seeing would nary have flown with me.

wheeitsme

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My DH had to tell the saleslady that I was ethically against diamonds before she'd show him the pearls..and that was at a Hilo Hatties (Hawaiian shop) fine jewelry counter!

Omega Mu

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It appears that the saleslady is making assumptions about the OP's budget, but wouldn't that have been the first thing they discussed?  On "Say Yes to the Dress" budget is one of the major determinations as to what dresses they bring to the bride.  They STRONGLY discourage the bride from even trying on a dress that is outside her budget to avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a dress she can't afford.

Asharah

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It appears that the saleslady is making assumptions about the OP's budget, but wouldn't that have been the first thing they discussed?  On "Say Yes to the Dress" budget is one of the major determinations as to what dresses they bring to the bride.  They STRONGLY discourage the bride from even trying on a dress that is outside her budget to avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a dress she can't afford.
There is nothing wrong with asking a bride if she has a budget range she's shooting for, but saleswoman in OP was making assumptions about bride without asking and cost herself a commission and her store some business.
And some brides may not have a budget for specific items when they start out. They might be thinking "Hmmm, can I afford to have X, Y and Z for my wedding, or should I cut out Y to afford X and Z. Do I really want ice sculptures at the reception, or would I rather spend more money on the flowers? If I give up the chocolate fountain, I can add a little more to the dress budget. If we do a buffet instead of a sitdown dinner, I can hire limos for the entire family." So it could be a case, "Hmmm the dress is a little more than I planned to spend, but I can probably cut a few corners somewhere else if I REALLY want it."
Asharah

Reuth

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Quote
the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing.

Three months??? I could buy a new car with that much money! OK, not on the salary he was making when we got engaged. But it would have been way more than the down payment on our house. I would have killed him for spending that kind of money on a ring. Our whole wedding cost less than that. Including the honeymoon.